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tv   The Daily Rundown  MSNBC  July 26, 2010 9:00am-10:00am EDT

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libya on compassionate grounds to a hero's welcome and predicted in the letter would happen. they knew about it and we're giving some some indication they opposed it. i don't see condemnation at all in this letter, though. which always surprised me. >> scots told the americans to go fly a kite. did what they wanted to do and the americans did nothing. >> that's what it boils down to ultimately. barnicle, halperin? >> what did i learn? >> yeah. >> he was with snooki in ocean city 40 years ago. >> seriously. halperin? >> you do more reporting before 9:00 than most journalists all day. >> aren't you nice? >> wikileaks is daniel else elsworth of the 20th century. >> thank you for joining us. now it is time for "the daily rundown" with chuck and savannah. pakistan, whose side are you
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on? what thousands of leaked documents reveal about the war in afghanistan. is there anything new here? >> uncomfortable word wiki. the man the west wing fears the most. republican congressman darrell issa joins us live. it's july 26th, 2010. i'm chuck todd. >> good morning. i'm savannah guthrie. let's get to the rundown on a monday and starting with the massive leak of documents related to afghanistan and pakist pakistan. got the national security world buzzing and the west wing fuming. the website wikileaks published some 90,000 document that is portray a grim view on the ground in afghanistan and pakistan. chief white house correspondent jim miklaszewski joins us now. what are the real major revelations here? also also, tell us about the group that published these documents. >> reporter: i think the biggest revelation here is just the fact that they could get their hands
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on this many documents. many of them specific, detailed after action reports of military operations, intelligence reports 0 of when's going on, not only in afghanistan and pakistan, more than 92,000 of these documents as we understand it. it has some people confounded as the how that could have happened but they are pursuing some threads to see if they can determine the origin of that leak this morning. this organization was founded by julian assaud, a freelance journalist type. they get some as he explained this morning, they get a lot of their money from private donations. more than a million just in the past several months from private citizens. but also, from some foundations. and they have taken on this cause of obtaining classified information in an effort to uncover what they claim would be criminal activities that should be investigated and prosecuted
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in the conduct of a war, is savannah. >> can you give us an update on the missing sailors in afghanistan? >> reporter: there's nothing new on the whereabouts or fate of the two missing sailors. they disappeared last friday, 80 miles away from the base in kabul which has many u.s. officials baffled because they drove apparently right into the heart of taliban territory. these were not rookies. they were not cowboys. they were experienced sailors, experienced service members in afghanistan. and nobody figures out how they make that mistake. the taliban claims they killed one and held another hostage. u.s. can't confirm that. but intense search is under way and talking about pakistan, u.s. military officials are deeply concerned that the taliban may try to spirit the two sailors out of afghanistan into pakistan well out of the u.s. military's reach. >> all right. jim miklaszewski, a busy day at the pentagon today for you.
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we'll be checking with you again. thanks very much. bp executives are publicly saying no decision made on the future of tony hayward but the much-criticized ceo is said to be out. what are we hearing from bp on this? i mean, in many cases, i don't think anybody's shocked that hayward is going to be out of a job by the end of the year because of the public relations fiasco. how quickly will this happen? >> reporter: well, you know, it is an uncomfortable situation with the news leaking out of u.s. government officials speaking on condition of anonymity and quoting top officials of bp saying he is losing his job, he could resign as early as today. and then this news goes around the world in instant and the first thing bp said was, oh, tony hayward is still our chief executive officer. okay. that's true. and then they say he has the full support of the board and senior management. and then later on, many hours
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later, they release another statement saying that, well, no final decision has been made at this point and the writing is on the wall. because everyone was pointing to today as when tony hayward would resign, tonight there's a big bp board meeting. tomorrow expected to announce huge second quarter losses. described as possibly the biggest corporate loss in british history. so that's why it's happening now. you know, for many people around here, thousands of people who have been out of work for three months, it's a little bit anti-climatic and a big change that apparently bp is wanting to kn show now from the top down. >> all right. thanks, michelle. on the hill now, the house ethics committee preparing to unveil charges against charlie rangel. on thursday that is unless a deal is struck before then. capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell joins us live. as i understand it, you're
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hearing there may be a deal in the works. how would this work? >> reporter: jumping outside a hill kind of process for a minute and if you think about a civil trial or a criminal trial, there's always deal making going on until the 11th hour of the 11th hour. so charlie rangel and his legal team and the people who are working on the house ethics committee are able to keep talking about a way to reach some kind of settlement to avoid thursday's hearing where we would hear for the first time the very specific violations of ethics that the committee believes there's sufficient evidence to move forward on. it would look like a trial. there's nothing criminal involved here. these are simply ethics violations that could put him in terrible jeopardy for his position here. but it's the kind of thing that gives charlie rangel a chance to maybe find a graceful exit. he has many friends here, over decades of experience and democrats don't want to see it go forward on thursday and have all of the political downfall that comes with it. so there's a chance, nothing specific, but don't be surprised
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if there isn't a way for him to offer some kind of apology and find a way to button this up without going through the rigors of a very public and very messy sort of trial for lack of a better word. savannah, chuck? >> all right. kelly o'donnell on capitol hill for us, interesting. if he doesn't have the votes, we know he'll give it up. we'll see. back in washington, next big battle is brug over taxes, specifically, should the administration let the bush tax cuts on the wealthiest americans expire? treasure secretary tim geithner on "meet the press" says yes. >> the right thing for the country, the fair thing, the responsible thing for the country now is to make sure we leave in place and preserve tax cuts that go to more than 95% of working americans and compliment those with a set of incentives for businesses to expand and hire. >> all right. let's bring in cnbc chief washington correspondent john harwood. we know the debate now is over
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tax cuts for the folks that make $250,000 for more. everybody's on the same page about the middle class tax cuts on these so-called bush tax cuts. where does the debate stand right now? >> reporter: look, chuck. this is an issue that puts both parties' deepest beliefs at odds with their political fortunes. look. the republican party complaining all year about sky-high deficits saying the administration is not serious about it. they're going against that because of their belief in tax cuts saying the taxes ought to be extended for the rich. democrats on the other hand have been saying we need to get the economy going. that's why they wanted spending for unemployment, spending for economic stimulus. but now that some economists are saying you don't raise taxes on anybody when the economy's this weak. they're sticking with the argument that president obama promised in the campaign to raise taxes on those over $200,000 in income. fascinating debate. some conservative democrats siding with republicans on the
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argument. probably not settled until later in the year. >> cnbc's john harwood with the latest for us, thank you. moving on, the beginning of the end in the rod blagojevich case. lawyers make the closing arguments today. the former govern're defense team banking on a risky strategy of no case and breaking a promise to jurors that blago himself would testify. nbc's john yang in chicago this understand. john, we understand the lawyer haves to up to eight hours to make their closing arguments. you don't get as long. can you y out what you think each side will say? >> reporter: the defense will go through the argument of the talk on the tapes of blagojevich talking about trying to get campaign money, trying to get a cabinet position, ambassadorship for the senate seat, for his power of making appointment to president obama's senate seat was just that, just talk. he had no intent to commit a crime and never carried through and never actually committed a crime.
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the prosecution argues that's not necessary for a conspiracy which is what he's charged with. that conspiracy is a crime of talk. it's not a crime necessarily of action. that even if you don't commit the act, the fact that you talked about it is still enough. you're still guilty of a conspiracy. as you say, they will have a long time to make the arguments. it could slip over into tomorrow. but by tomorrow afternoon, by late tomorrow, certainly, the jury will have this case. one other quick note, this morning "the chicago tribune" is reporting that a moving and storage company about to auction off about seven storage containers belonging to blagojevich. he is about a year behind in the payments in his rent. so chuck and savannah, if you want a life-sized statue of elvis, i know where one will be on sale next month. >> wow. >> you know what? i do want that. john, i'm sorry. you have to be my proxy on that. you think i'm joking. this is going to be great. we may have to broadcast live from the auction site.
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>> the al capone vault all over again. >> huge. john yang, once again with some great nuggets today on the blagojevich trial, thanks very much. >> thank you. all right. new details this morning on the lockerbie bomberbomber's releas. we were having a conversation about this report in "the times" of london taking excerpts of a letter written by a u.s. diplomat to the scottish and british governments about where the u.s. stood on releasing the lockerbie bomber. you now have the entire letter. give us the details. >> that letter details what the u.s. position was on this at the time eight days before al megrahi's release. we have the letter exclusive from the u.s. embassy to the first minister of scotland. just a little background. obviously, this has come back in the news with reports that bp might have been lobbying for al megrahi's release and they might have been lobbying for his
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release potentially because of their interest, their oil interests in libya. we found out recently that bp announcing that they're going to be drilling off the coast of libya so that raised the question recently that maybe this whole thing was a dirty deal over oil. that ultimately was a compassionate release about al megrahi with the confetti flying when he was released on august 20th and people raising questions on this side of the pond, especially in the halls of congress, where was the outrage from this president? where was the outrage from this white house? why didn't they do anything more to stop it? well, this letter seems to really characterize exactly what the u.s. position was on this. the letter says that they respect scottish law in this case. they express concern about the release of megrahi. they say that the u.s. opposes any release of al megrahi but let me read you this part. it says, nevertheless, if scottish authorities came to the conclusion that he must be released from scottish custody, the u.s. position is that
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conditional release on compassionate grounds would be a far preferable alternative to a prisoner transfer. i was wondering where the outrage and condemnation was. this is exactly how the u.s. felt on this. very clear in this letter. they kind of let it go by. they said they opposed it. but they didn't do anything about it. and they preferred a conditional release. now, of course, this guy was supposed to be dead in three months, chuck, savannah. he's living quite well in libya and he is fairly healthy today reportedly. >> for sure. >> all right. msnbc's mika brezs ski, co-host of "morning joe," thank you. >> thank you. all right. coming up, called everything from president obama's annoyer in chief to the congressional member white house officials might fear the most. up next, the sbeer you of congressman issa, ranking republican on the house oversight and government reform commit'. plus, 90,000 classified documents from the battle lines in afghanistan. we're going to talk with "the new york times" reporter who scoured through them for weeks
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before they reported on it. what it means for the u.s. strategy going forward. but first, a look ahead at the president's morning. some meetings in the afternoon as you see there. you're watching "the daily rundown" on msnbc. food myth #. [ woman ] chopping and peeling can be kinda relaxing at the end of the day. [ female announcer ] relaxing for who? try new market creations from lean cuisine. the new steam pouch locks in the fresh taste of crisp veggies, tender chicken, and al dente pasta, new market creations from lean cuisine. no, it's just for new people. hey ! chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry ? chocolate ! chocolate it is ! yeah but i'm new too. umm... he's new... er... than you. even kids know it's wrong to treat new friends better than old friends. at ally bank we treat all our customers fairly. with no teaser rates... ... and no minimum deposits. it's just the right thing to do.
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right now, the houseover night and government reform committee in the middle of five major investigations. >> driving force behind some of the inquiries the committee's ranking republican committeeman darrell issa. that pressure will only intensi intensify. congressman issa is here with us because then you would have
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subpoena power. some people said you're the man the white house most fears. is that fair? what do they have to fear? >> well, every administration once they become the administration becomes somewhat insular and not just on behalf of, you know, people working in the white house but it spreads into the cabinet positions. suddenly every problem they inherited, they want to blame their predecessor and don't want you looking at whether they change will work, a change you can believe in. that's the problem of this president is he promised change, he promised transparency. now he's got cabinet officers saying, you know, please, i don't want to respond to this. let me just handle it. well, that's what the bureaucracy lives for, savannah. they live for the fact that administrations come and go and if there's not a permanent oversight, if you can't bolster the igs and make sure the bureaucracy does the changes that get recognized then what ends up happening is outwait each cabinet officer. >> i want to go through the
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investigations you're in the midst of or would like to see get more fully engaged in. you have the countrywide home loan. a special vip list. the s.e.c.-gold man filing. the administration's response to the oil spill. white house and google, google working with the white house for personal e-mail. treasury and housing programs. some of these seem like very serious allegations. people want to know connects to fannie and freddie. some seems petty like the white house google thing. i have so tay, do you look at it and say, all right, maybe we're petty on this one but do you wor it takes away from the focus of a more serious investigation like the countrywide? >> you know, i'm the person that sort of followed in henry waxman's shoes a little bit an some of the things we are doing are mirrors of what he did under the bush administration, henry waxman went after failures of the bush administration to preserve every single e-mail in
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what was actually a transition to microsoft exchange, and there were documents lost and cost over $20 million to recover every one of the documents and went after correspondents with the rnc. in our case, we're just doing the same thing. we are saying, as long as you get it to the archivists, we don't want to see it. as long as g-mails captured in a formal way, we wouldn't need to it. that's really sort of defend the archivist and the that kt that administrations don't have the presidency they want to define but the entire presidency under the presidential records act. that's sort of part of our job with specific oversight on it. where we stretch ourselves is toyota, obviously the mineral management service going after them under the bush administration, used the subpoena power when we were the majority for the executives of the oil companies to talk about this too cozy relationship that
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existed two or three administrations back. probably never got right from 1982 on. those kinds of deep ones we have to stick with and as soon as we take our eye off of it, we take the opportunity something bad happens when we could have changed and prevented it. >> if people had the perception your primary motivation to embarrass the white house, humiliate the white house, for political ends, what would be your counter to that and point to as evidence in regard? >> if you look at the letters we have written, they're legitimate requests for information. many of them are similar to what my predecessor wrote and many of them are simply asking for information that were letters to igs saying, look into this. when you see that most of the time the igs look into it, but the administration doesn't answer our letters, the question is, why wouldn't you? you know, the american people believe that freedom of information act provides the public, you know, if you will
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the sunlight foundation and pogo, groups like that the ability of documents and know what's going on in government. isn't it amazing the government oversight committee sends a letter basically a glorified information act response and don't get a response. >> would you say if it were a republican were in the white house? >> i would. >> okay. >> okay. you may find out and we may find out some day so darrell issa -- >> not as popular with republicans for doing it. it shouldn't change just because the administration changes. >> follow up quickly. when is this countrywide and see more of this and specifics on this situation? >> as we sift through 37,000 documents, took us a long time and forced subpoena -- we had to if you will shame the majority and members into crossing party lines for the subpoena. as we're going through it, we're finding sector by sector -- they were the areas to look for first in fannie and freddie and
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countrywide influence the people that bought the toxic assets. >> this seems to be one of the questions people about the financial crisis, the housing market. >> we hear about buying elected officials and very much a part of this story, but it's actually buying the currying and favor of non-elected, appointed employees at all levels whether it was the president of fannie mae or all the way down to people not much beyond the mail room but people who could do favors specifically for processing countrywide loans, that's beyond friends and family that most corporations have. that's about influencing the outcome of their ability to move bad loans that otherwise should have been rejected. >> all right. congressman issa of california, thank you. appreciate your time. >> thank you. up next in today's "decision 2010," the senate hopeful that famously took on the opponent for wearing high heels at it again and biting the hand that
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feeds him. but first, "washington speak." fannie mae and freddie mac, bailed out by the government to help americans finance homes. fannie mae from fnma, federal national mortgage association and fhlmc or federal home loan mortgage corporation and sally may. >> fannie in the new deal and freddie in lbj's days. 30 years apart. it is an acronym trying to figure out freddie out of that one. if you have "washington speak" to clarify, send us an e-mail. [ male announcer ] where are people with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis going? they're discovering the first self-injectable ra medicine
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"decision 2010" time. ken buck surged from no-name status to lead in my public polls largely on the support of conservatives and tea party
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activists and the activists held a ton of events around the state and even poured money into the campaign. well now, a democratic campaign tracker has caught buck on tape in comments which might leave him with some explaining to do with some of his die-hard supporters. take a listen. would you tell those [ bleep ] at the tea party to stop asking questions about birth certificate while i'm on the camera? what am i supposed to do? >> well, buck apologized yesterday saying he was quote venting to the wrong person under the wrong circumstances. it isn't the first time, of course, opponents tried to use the free-wheeling speaking style against him. jay norton's ads playing off of a moment saying voters should pick him because, quote, he doesn't wear high heels and asked about that gaffe in a debate that aired yesterday and he explained. >> i was at a lunch that was not a politically serious lunch and
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i didn't want to answer the question in a politically serious way. i'm human beings and amazed that jane make the comment 12, 15 times in different ways. >> are you offended? >> no. but i think it just begs the question, is this befitting a united states senator? >> well, look. the timing of this latest leak just two weeks before the mail-in primary ballots are due is interesting. what are democrats up to? trying to create fiction inside the primary or pull norton to the right to defend the tea party activists. notice in the response was don't ask, have them ask me those questions on camera. anyway, norton's conservative cred got a boost from arizona governor brewer who endorsed her and taped an robo call on her behalf. jan brew we are the immigration bill that signed into law has become influential in republican primaries outside of arizona. very fascinating to watch. we'll see how long that lasts.
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staying with the ballttle, linkg carnahan to the president's agenda directly. a new poll suggests we may be seeing that ad like the first one. blunt leads in there race buoyed by the fact that the president's job rating in missouri, the swing state he lost by a few thousand votes, sitting at 34%. that's how many -- that's the percentage of voters that approve of how the president handling the job. 57% disapprove. among independents, approval number lower at 27%. blunt had plenty of baggage. seven terms in washington. and a member of the republican leadership, republican former number go in the house. we'll see. carnahan trying to use that against him to stress independence. i have to tell you, savannah, six-point lead in the swing state of missouri is a big lead. sometimes other states called
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narrow. in this case, this is a commanding lead if you would for blunt when you never see races like this get even that kind of spread. usually always one or two-point races. >> all right. thanks, chuck. coming up, who or what is behind the leak of 90,000 secret documents from the battlefield? we'll talk to a reporter given early access to the file. taxing the rich to deal with the deficit. will it grind the economic recovery to a halt? we'll take a look at this issue from both sides. but first, today's trivia question. who bankrolled the petition effort leading to the special election that recalled then california governor gray davis, of course, replaced with arnold schwarzenegger? the answer and more coming up. let's gokids! hurry up, guys! even responsible people get into accidents, which is why we do all we can to help you move on after one. [ engine turns over ] and when you insure both your home and car with us,
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bottom of the hour.
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now let's look at what's driving washington this monday. >> nato forces in afghanistan carrying out a massive search for two navy sailors missing since friday. a spokesman said insurgents killed one and captured the second. bp officials say no final decision made on the future of ceo tony hayward but multiple reports say the company will sack hayward and replace him with american bob dudley. attorneys will give closing arguments in the rod blagojevich case today. jurors may be in for up to eight hours of closing arguments from the defense and prosecution combined. other stories making head lines this monday, german chancellor merckel is demanding a full investigation into what caused a deadly stampede at a techno music festival in northern germany. witnesses say panic broke out when police closed the only entrance into the festival grounds. 19 people were crushed to death and another 340 were injured. organizers say the annual event known as the love parade will never be held again out of
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respect for the victims. a shocking mix-up after a car accident in arizona. the family of 19-year-old abby guerra making funeral plans over the weekend and then records revealed she was still alive. officials mistaken her for her friend also in the car. young woman is hospitalized in critical condition. the army corps of engineers dispatched to eastern iowa where 83 -- an 83-year-old dam gave way after a storm this weekend. residents had just minutes to evacuate. dozens of homes and building were destroyed. and now to the story that break r broke sunday much to the unhappy of the white house. the revelation of more than 90,000 classified documents related to war in afghanistan. the founder of wikileaks said this documents the documents unveil the quote every day squalor of war. >> it's clear that it will shape an understanding of what the past six years of war has been like.
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and that the course of the war needs to change. the manner in which it needs to change. >> national security for "new york times," one of the reporters given early access to the documents several weeks ago. mark, obviously "the new york times" decided to publish these documents. i guess the main question is, what are the real revelations? because as you know better than anybody, the gumblings about a pakistani intelligence agency, the isi playing a double game is well-known for a while now. >> that's right. the pakistan side, we and other news organizations reported for a couple of years the u.s. does believe pakistan spy service plays a hand in the insurgency. teaming up with militant groups for attacks inside of afghanistan. i think what was particularly surprising for us in this trove of documents the level of fine-grain detail that the u.s.
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has about pakistan's isi. the specific mentions of named operatives in meetings in pakistan's tribal areas. >> right. >> it is the volume and the detail of the documents that were striking to us. >> another story that seems to me that may bubble up as a result of this has to do with the success or failure of the predator drone strikes and what i found fascinating of your reporting of the papers had to do with the fact that maybe they aren't nearly as successful as administration officials would like to lead us to believe. >> yes. the documents are fascinating in their account of the drones, the omnipresence of the drones. they -- as we have reported and everyone has reported, they have very successful missions and also crash a lot. and, sometimes they miss their targets. so, there is -- it is not an unmitigated success story. however, what is amazing is in many ways it's become a remote-controlled war both in
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afghanistan and pakistan because the drones certainly are here to stay. >> mark, what can you tell us about wikileaks itself? the website that was given these documents, decided to publish the documents an gave your newspaper among other news organizations early access to them. what do we know about the circumstances of receiving the documents and let us know in your decision to publish, "the times" decision to publish. >> we were contacted after they had obtained them and they were -- we never learned the source of the documents. however, we did our own independent verification and through a few weeks of reporting with the a group of reporters up here in new york we sifted through the documents. we took out what we thought was particularly sensitive and published what we thought was newsworthy and put some of the documents up online and went to the white house last week to discuss our decision and had an exchange with the white house so it was a pretty long process. >> mark, are you convinced that
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wick i can le wikileaks shown you everything they had or withheld some documents and will release as they go forward? >> it's unclear exactly what they have. "times" and others reported that there are diplomatic cables out there. we are interested in seeing those but we don't know where those might be and probably more out there. >> does that trouble you, though, that maybe they withheld some stuff of the 90,000 released if they, indeed, it does sound like you think they may have? does that trouble you in some of your reporting? >> no, not at all. we felt we had a competencive batch of documents, pentagon documents from a military command center and don't think they withheld it and it was somehow cast the -- cast the whole story in a different light. >> real quick, mark, apparently the documents cover a range of
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time approximately 2004 to december 2009. any particular reason why as far as you can tell the documents end there? the administration has tried to seize that little fact and say, oh, well, things are different now because we announced the new strategy in december of 209. >> we don't know exactly what the reason for the time frame is. or why they abruptly cut off at the end of the last year. we're interested to know that. but don't suspect it had necessarily any kind of a political agenda there. >> yeah. all right. mark from "new york times," thanks for sharing your reporting this morning. we appreciate it. >> thank you yirkts let's do the trivia. who bankrolled the petition-gathering effort leading to the special election that recalled then california governor gray davis and replaced him with arnold schwarzenegger? >> it was congressman darrell issa using the car alarm fortune to bankroll. people thought he was going to run for governor himself and then decided not do it when
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arnold made it known that he wanted to run. all right. up next, the battle over bush-era tax cuts on capitol hill. republicans want to keep them all for every income level. democrats want to kill some of them. and the nation's economic recovery could hang in the balance. but first, the white house soup of the day. no state secret here. it's italian wedding. this is a world exclusive for us to report but -- yeah. not exactly classified. >> wikisoup leaks? was abe linco? mary todd: does this dress make my backside look big? abe: perhaps a... vo: geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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i was just in town for a few days and i was wondering if i could say hi to the doctor. - is he in? - he's in copenhagen. - oh, well, that's nice. - but you can still see him. - you just said he was in-- - copenhagen. - come on. - that's pretty far. - doc, look who's in town. - ellen! - copenhagen? - cool, right? vacation. - but still seeing patients. ( whispers ) workaholic. - i heard that. - she said it. - i-- cisco-- introducing healthpresence.
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it was on this date in 1990, president h.b. bush signed into law the americans with disabilities act ensuring that equal access to transportation and you saw a total influx of new buildings having to put in ramps, create access. you have the buses that dip down to get folks. it was a sort of a sea change
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for those folks that were disabled. >> and the president commemorating it today at the white house. this may be the next big washington battle. there's a debate on capitol hill over the future of the so-called bush tax cuts. >> treasury secretary geithner said the only fair thing is to let tax cuts for the upper class expire. >> to make that possible, and to do that responsibly, i think it is fair and good policy to allow those tax cuts that only go to 2 to 3% of the highest earners in the country to expire at scheduled. the country can withstand that. the chi can and it's good policy. >> republicans and even some democrats disagree with the secretary geithner. mark zandy from moody's and advised the obama administration in the campaign. an enthe mccain campaign. got as good of bipartisan credentials as you can have in
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washington. mark, you have this debate. seems like no debate about getting rid of the -- all of the tax cuts s. that a mistake as far as the fiscal house is concerned? >> no. i don't think so. i mean, i think at this point we have an agreement and important to extend the it is a cuts for folks that make less than 250k. having said that, i think everything should be on the table in the discussion with regard to what we do about our long-term fiscal problems, and as you know, the national fiscal commission and reports out in december and i think they need to consider everything, including the tax cuts that are going to the middle class. >> well, let's talk about the issue that seems to be where the fight's going to be and that is, the obama administration's long-stated plan to roll back the bush tax cuts for what they call the wealthiest of americans, families making $than $250,000. republicans and conservative democrats say it amounts to a tax hike and really imperil this
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fragile recovery. where do you come down on this issue? >> well, i think it would be prudent to phase in those tax increases on the top income groups, that an i louing the tax increases to occur at once on january 1st of next year probably would be taking too large a gamble with the recovery. the recovery still is in my view fragile and this could hurt it. i think it would be prudent to phase it in over a couple three-year period. >> that is interesting. you are saying you are trying to find a middle ground to middle ground saying, look, let the tax cuts expire but maybe a little bit at a time and maybe people making $250,000 to $500,000 will see 1% increase. 1 percentage point increase? is that what you're talking about? >> exactly. if you allowed the tax increases to phase in over, say, a three-year period, say,
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something like a one fourth of the increase in the first year, three forurths and then the ful tax hike by the third year and cost somewhere close to $50 billion to $60 billion and would be prudent. of course, that's based on my judgment that the economic recovery is still very fragile, that we shouldn't take that gamble. >> it sounds like tim geithner, the treasury secretary, disagrees with your position on this one saying that the economy can withstand an immediate rollback of those bush tax cuts. how much will it cost if those -- if those cuts aren't rolled back? it would add to the deficit, would it snot. >> yeah. i mean, if we don't allow the tax increases to take hold over a ten-year period, it would cost about $500 billion. so it is real money. and i'm not arguing that the tax increases shouldn't occur but down the road and i think in 2012, 2013, '14, the economy on sound ground and off and running
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and we can digest the higher tax rates without having any meaningful,
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